Daily Devotionals

Forgotten War: Week 2 - Saturday

Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant. Galatians 1:10

One of the things about Jesus that we have to be impressed with is how He didn't care about what anyone else thought about Him. He was more concerned about pleasing God and serving an audience of One instead of making everyone happy.

Satan knows that we can get locked up in trying to gain the approval of others. Earning the approval of others isn't necessarily a bad thing. God did make us to need other people. We were made to find security and safety by the people who have our backs. The problem is that Satan can get us trapped in needing approval. We can be so worried that someone might not like us that we compromise our faith or remain silent when God gives us opportunities. This is most often seen in high school when fitting in becomes so important. An insecure student will drink at parties, even though they might know the dangers and may not like the taste of beer. They will push the boundaries and give away their own purity because they don't want to be regarded as a prude. When we get a little older, this same trap doesn't go away. We can get so scared about hurting another person's feelings that we never tell them the truth. We can clam up about the faith that we hold so dear because we are scared that we might lose our friendship.

In seeing how we might struggle, God directed Paul to clarify his own motivation to the churches in the province of Galatia. He writes about his motivation, sharing that his own ministry didn't come out trying to please people, but rather out of a heart of service. He was trying to please an audience of One, just as Jesus had done. He was encouraging the people in Galatia to do the same thing. Paul knew the pain of trying to live to get the approval of others. If you know his history, you know before he met Jesus, he sought to gain the approval of the religious leaders by killing Christians. He tells us about the pain and regret that he felt in getting caught in this trap of Satan. To break free of needing the approval of others, you have to live to please an audience of One!

Moving Toward Action

Most people miss that a vital part of this Forgotten War is that Satan can twist our motivations. He can get us more concerned over making others happy than serving and pleasing God. This weekend, we want to encourage you to get over what people might think about you and invite someone to come with you to service. Don't talk your way out of this one, but take the risk to please an audience of One. Write the person's name you plan to invite to church with you below and pray that God opens the door for them to come with you.

Going Deeper

Read Galatians 1:10-24 (NLT)

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.

You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors.

But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.

When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.

Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother. I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie.

After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. And still the churches in Christ that are in Judea didn’t know me personally. All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” And they praised God because of me.